Community action

Volunteer in your local community


Meet our Community Partners  





Royal Holloway Volunteering has over 250 community partners in the local community. One of the best ways to get involved is to find an opportunity that you like, and contact them directly!

Use our online volunteer system to search for community partners and find opportunities that interest you.


Approaching a Community Partner

 When you first make contact with a community partner, try to remember these helpful tips:

  • Be polite. While it may not be as formal as a job application, it is good to make a first impression.

  • Let the partner know you are a Royal Holloway student This helps them to learn a bit more about you.

  • Try to be clear, especially when you are talking about your availability. Don’t say you will be able to volunteer every day if you are not able to do so!

  • Try to find more about the role. Have a think about the different skills and networks you might be able to develop.

  • Plan how to get there. While most of our opportunities are quite local, some travel might be required, so make sure you know how long it takes to get there.

  • Don’t be concerned if they do not respond immediately. Lots of charities are short staffed, so your email might not be answered immediately. Send a follow up after a few days, or give the organisation a call!

 Frequently asked questions


I am not a student or staff member at Royal Holloway, can I volunteer?

Our volunteering opportunities are only for students and staff at Royal Holloway, university of London. If you would like to volunteer with one of our partners you can contact them directly, as most will have a website and volunteer programme.

You can also find more opportunities through our local volunteer centre, Voluntary Support North Surrey.

Do you offer any paid opportunities?

No, all of our opportunities are unpaid. If you are interested in paid opportunities we recommend having a look at the Careers and Employability Service webpages.  

Can I volunteer if I am on a tier 4 visa?

Almost all of our opportunities count as “volunteering” and as such will have no effect on the status of your international student visa. A very small number of opportunities that have a large number of requirements may instead count as “voluntary work” and these could affect your visa if you were to participate in them as well as paid work for more than 20 hours a week. If you are unsure, email the volunteering team.  

What is a DBS check and how do I get one?

A small number of our community partners may say that you have to pass a DBS check to volunteer with them. A DBS check is a type of criminal records check that shows that it is safe for you to work with children or adults at risk. If you are told that a volunteering opportunity needs a DBS check, the volunteering team should be able to help. You can find more details on our information page.

If you are told you need a DBS check for a paid opportunity, or if you want to get one for an opportunity that is not from one of our community partners, we will not be able to complete a check.  

What if I want to volunteer with an organisation that is not a current partner?

We are always looking for more organisations to partner with, so if you find one that is not on our list then that is great! Please ask a staff member or volunteer coordinator at the organisation to sign up as a community partner with us using our online system. This process is completely free, and means that your volunteering will get you some Passport points. 

Can Royal Holloway Volunteering reimburse my travel costs

Unfortunately, Royal Holloway Volunteering cannot reimburse travel costs or other expenses. You can ask your partner organisation if they are able to reimburse your travel costs as some larger organisations may be able to do this. 

Can I still get support from the Royal Holloway Volunteering team if I volunteer with a partner?

 Of course! If you are having difficulties with your partner, or want to find new ways to get involved and develop your skills, you can always contact the Royal Holloway Volunteering team at volunteering@royalholloway.ac.uk

Can I get a DBS check through volunteering? 

Some Royal Holloway Volunteering projects and partners will require you to do a DBS check. The DBS check is free of charge for volunteers. Unfortunately we are unable to provide DBS checks for non-Royal Holloway volunteering opportunities, or for paid positions. 

Have a look at our information page for more details about DBS checks.